Bavarian way of life Jul 28, 2015

Royal Bavaria – An app revives the days of Ludwig II

Patron of the arts, builder of palaces, horse lover – the Bavarian king Ludwig II shaped Bavaria more than almost any other monarch. Up to this day he is a living part of Bavarian traditions. Tourists and fans can now get an interactive experience of Ludwig II's spell. A smartphone app provides lots of information about the life and times of the Bavarian monarch.

The "Kini" (Bavarian for King) is firmly anchored in the Bavarian mind and is considered as the epitome of "the good old days". Many associations devoted to the preservation of local customs and traditions – also in Franconia and Swabia, by the way – honour the memory of "their" king in events and festivals. For good reason: The "Fairytale King" was an intriguing, even ambivalent person, who had his architectural and cultural dreams set in stone and to music. His thirst for action excited the wonder of his contemporaries - and their disapproval, because it meant a heavy financial burden for the budget of the Kingdom of Bavaria. Today, however, Ludwig is seen in a different light: his legacy has become a hallmark not only of Bavaria but Germany as a whole in the world.

Bavaria owes him some of its most beautiful buildings. Neuschwanstein Castle is considered to be the perfect fairytale caste, and famous all over the world. The other of "Ludwig's castles", Herrenchiemsee and Linderhof, are tourist magnets today as well. Ludwig also made his mark as an appreciative patron of culture and arts. Especially his support of the composer Richard Wagner is of immeasurable value for the history of European culture. Without the king, the building of the Bayreuth Festival Theatre would hardly have been possible, and even less Wagner's magnum opus, the "Ring des Nibelungen".

Information at your fingertips

Find out more about this and about a lot of other events and experiences of the Wittelsbach monarch with the free app "Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King" of the Bavarian State Library. In the year of the Bavarian regent's 170th birthday, this is a very convenient possibility to find out more about the king and about 19th-century Bavaria. One highlight are the fascinating augmented reality features such as 3D pattern recognition, which display digital objects in real time in the smartphone camera picture, directly at the location of the viewer. Users can, for instance, virtually explore the king's wonderful winter garden in the Munich Residence.

The app is designed as a location-based service app, which means that in places that had a special importance in King Ludwig's life, users receive additional information directly on their smartphones. At more than 140 points of interest, users are given information that revives the time of Ludwig II. More than 400 photographs, including historical ones, are available to the app users.

The app also gives access to a number of audio features about special places or topics, spoken quotes of contemporary witnesses such as Otto von Bismarck and in-depth video expert interviews about architecture, politics, music, technology, and the life and myth of Ludwig II. A useful feature are the calendar entries – short notes with important data from Ludwig's life – that can be displayed as push messages on the smartphone, providing interesting facts about the life of the fairytale king "on the run".
The bilingual app (German and English) can be downloaded for free in the iTunes Store. In a slightly reduced version, the app content is also available in the junaio client.

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